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Two former militants surrender in Chechnya in amnesty bid

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GROZNY, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Two former militants have surrendered to law-enforcement bodies in the past twenty-four hours in an amnesty bid in the troubled Republic of Chechnya in Russia's North Caucasus, the local interior ministry said Sunday.

The head of the Federal Security Service, Nikolai Patrushev, declared an amnesty on July 15 for gunmen willing to surrender, with a deadline of August 1, after Russia's terrorist number one Shames Basayev, involved in the Beslan school siege and other atrocities, was killed on July 10. This term was later extended until September 30.

Both militants were members of illegal armed formations at different periods but did not participate directly in military operations. The ministry is currently verifying this information.

The active phase of the anti-terrorism campaign in Chechnya is over, according to the Kremlin, but sporadic fighting continues hampering efforts to rebuild housing and infrastructure and create jobs in the republic after a decade of warfare.

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